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UVA law professor breaks down Trump’s second impeachment trial

Updated: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is underway.

Members of the U.S. Senate will decide whether or not to impeach Trump on the charge of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

“The first order of business is they’re going to consider the question of whether the Senate even has jurisdiction to hold this impeachment trial. I think they’re each given two hours to argue that case and then they’ll vote on that issue,” UVA law professor Charles Barzun said.

If a majority of the Senate votes to move forward, the trial will continue and opening arguments will take place on Wednesday.

Barzun says a conviction in this case is unlikely, but if it does happen there are two available punishments.

“One if removal from office and the other is disqualification from holding future office. Presumably if he were convicted they would have another vote to determine whether that further punishment should apply. It seems like that would obviously happen since they can’t remove him from office, because he’s not in office,” Barzun said.

This impeachment trial, Barzun says, is one for the history books.

“What is unprecedented is both for the same president to be impeached twice. Trump has that distinct honor of being the only one to be impeached twice and it is true that there has never been an impeachment trial for a president who is no longer a sitting president, or I should say of a former president,” Barzun said.

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